WESTERN Bulldogs have called all players back to Melbourne to prepare for an AFL season restart.
The move comes amid growing optimism that the 2020 season – which was put on hold on March 21 – could resume next month.
The AFL has floated its controversial quarantine hubs proposal but is hopeful it won’t be required as part of a return-to-play plan when details are announced next week.
“There’s certainly, across the industry, the suggestion that we should get organised,” Gordon told SEN Breakfast on Monday.
“Players have gone home and the call has gone out to get them back.
“That’s true for the Bulldogs’ interstate players as much as anyone else’s.”
North Melbourne’s interstate contingent will return to Victoria this week and Hawthorn has called back their relatively small group.
Carlton is set to deliver instructions to their playing group on Monday.
West Coast and Fremantle face a possible disadvantage because of Western Australia’s tighter interstate travel controls, with concerns that players might have to spend 14 days in quarantine before resuming training with teammates.
As clubs eagerly await an official restart date, Gordon backed the AFL’s decision to limit all clubs to training in groups of two for the time being.
It follows consternation from some clubs based outside Victoria, including Port Adelaide’s Tom Rockliff accusing the AFL of bias toward the Victorian clubs.
The two WA clubs had been hopeful of training in larger groups after the state government last week lifted the local limit on outdoor gatherings to 10 people.
Clubs in South Australia and Queensland are operating under similar local rulings.
But the AFL stepped in to ensure the 10 Victorian clubs, along with Sydney and GWS, were not disadvantaged by different restrictions in different states.
AFL football boss Steve Hocking stressed all 18 teams must abide by initial rules where players can only train with one other person.
“There’s obviously a considerable competitive advantage to be able to train together and I think it’s fair that the AFL regulate that so that there’s equity across the players in the competition,” Gordon said.
Clubs are hopeful that further easing of government restrictions could allow them all to train in groups of six to 10 players next week.
(C) AAP 2020